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National Academies Offers Guidance on Reopening Schools Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

  • 1Consulting Editor, JAMA Health Forum and JAMA

As a national debate rages over whether US schools should reopen amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, a report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NAS) urges school districts to prioritize reopening schools full time, especially for kindergarten through grade 5 (K-5) classes and for students with special needs.

Noting that states, districts, and schools are wrestling with “complex and high-stakes” questions about whether to reopen schools and how to do so safely, the NAS says the new report responds to the need for evidence-based guidance about COVID-19 and the effects of school closures on students and their families.

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